2 Cor 6:1

Steven Lo Vullo slovullo at mac.com
Tue Jan 7 23:59:35 EST 2003


On Tuesday, January 7, 2003, at 05:01 PM, Paul Toseland wrote:

> Finally, syntax. Steve, you wrote,
>
>> Considering that PARAKALEW in this type of construction introduces an
>> infinitive in indirect command or prohibition, it appears obvious to 
>> me
>> that the sense of PARAKALEW in these cases must be something along the
>> lines of "urge." This would have the same sense as an imperative in an
>> exhortation.
>
> I don't see how you reason back from the fact of an infinitve of 
> indirect
> discourse constructed with PARAKALEW to the meaning of that verb. Are 
> you
> simply saying that ths type of construction occurs only when PARAKALEW
> has the sense, 'urge', and never when it means 'console'? If so, I am
> asking whether Paul, following the normal rules of grammar, might have
> chosen to construct PARAKALEW with an infinitive of indirect discourse,
> even though this would be unusual, or even unique. He uses KATALASSW in
> 5:18 in a way that appears to have been unique up to that time. I would
> be happy to accept that the language simply doesn't work like that; I
> would like to be sure, one way or the other. But I am afraid I am not
> yet convinced!

Note that I am not simply reasoning back. I have seen this construction 
many times, but since I was at work today when I responded, I didn't 
have time to gather them and present them. The fact is that when Paul 
uses this construction it is PARAKALEW **invariably** introduces what 
in Greek I think we could call an indirect exhortation, since the 
direct speech would be put in the imperative. The imperative, of 
course, may be used in exhortation. Note **all** the examples in the 
Pauline corpus of this construction:

Rom 12.1 PARAKALW ... hUMAS ... PARASTHSAI TA SWMATA hUMWN QUSIAN ZWSAN 
hAGIAN EUARESTON TWi QEWi
"I urge ... you ... to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy 
and acceptable to God"

Rom 15.30 PARAKALW ... hUMAS ... SUNAGWNISASQAI MOI EN TAIS PROSEUCAIS 
hUPER EMOU PROS TON QEON
"I urge ... you ... to strive together with me in your prayers to God 
on my behalf"

Rom 16.17 PARAKALW ... hUMAS ... SKOPEIN TOUS TAS DICOSTASIAS KAI TA 
SKANDALA PARA THN DIDACHN hHN hUMEIS EMAQETE POIOUNTAS
"I urge .. you ... to watch out for those who cause divisions and 
create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught"

2 Cor 2.8 PARAKALW hUMAS KURWSAI EIS AUTON AGAPHN
"I urge you to reaffirm your love for him"

2 Cor 6.1 PARAKALOUMEN MH EIS KENON THN CARIN TOU QEOU DEXASQAI hUMAS
"we urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain"

Eph 4.1 PARAKALW ... hUMAS ... AXIWS PERIPATHSAI THS KLHSEWS hHS 
EKLHQHTE
"I urge ... you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you 
have been called"

Phil 4.2 EUODIAN PARAKALW KAI SUNTUCHN PARAKALW TO AUTO FRONEIN
"I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to agree in the Lord"

1 Th 4.10 PARAKALOUMEN ... hUMAS ... PERISSEUEIN MALLON
"We urge ... you ... to excel still more"

1Tim 1.3 PAREKALESA SE PROSMEINAI EN EFESWi
"I urged you to remain in Ephesus"

Titus 2.6 TOUS NEWTEROUS hWSAUTWS PARAKALEI SWFRONEIN
"Urge the younger men to be self-controlled"

It is not just a question of reasoning back from the fact of the 
infinitive. It is that **in every case without exception** when Paul 
uses PARAKALEW in the active to introduce an infinitive with an 
accusative subject (explicit or implied) it is in an indirect 
exhortation. In fact, as far as I can tell, this is invariably the case 
in every instance of this construction in the GNT (cf. Mark 5.17; Luke 
8.41; Acts 8.31; 11.23; 14.22; 19.31; 24.4; 27.33, 34; Heb 13.19; 1 Pet 
2.11; 5.12; Jude 3). Note especially the negative exhortation in Acts 
19.31. I think this is one of those happy occasions when the 
syntactical evidence is so overwhelming that we can reject with 
certainty those suggestions that run counter to the sense clearly 
displayed in the mass of parallels.

No offense, Paul, but appealing to the "discourse level" strikes me in 
this case as an example of how **not** to use discourse analysis, i.e., 
to trump an assured conclusion from syntax, especially since this 
construction is used in 2 Cor 2.8 and PARAKALEW  is used in the sense 
of "urge" only two verses before this one! And I find making a case on 
Paul's quote from Isaiah dubious, since it is based on part of the text 
of Isaiah that Paul **does not** quote. It is important to determine 
his purpose for using what he **did** quote, which seems in the context 
to be to emphasize the need for immediate action. Note the emphatic 
position of NUN in its two uses in 2 Cor 6.1. It is NOW when they must 
"be reconciled to God" and must take seriously the exhortation about 
receiving the grace of God in vain. This strikes me as similar to Rom 
13.11-12. There is an **urgency** in the **urging**.

It is important to see the connection between 5.20 and 6.1. The sense 
of 6.1 is, "Because we are fellow workers [with God] we also [along 
with God] urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain." When Paul 
says we ALSO, i.e., along with God, he is calling attention to what 
precedes in 5.20 (God himself making an urgent appeal to them through 
Paul to be reconciled) and to what God said in the following quote from 
Isaiah, which shows that God has the same urgent word for the 
Corinthians as Paul does. Both he and God emphasize the urgency for 
reconciliation and the need to avoid receiving the grace of God in 
vain. Nothing that precedes or follows suggests the that Paul was 
comforting the Corinthians with the idea that all is well. They needed 
reconciliation both with God (5.20) and with Paul (6.13). It was urgent 
that they waste no time in doing both, because NOW is the acceptable 
time, NOW is the day of salvation. They must not miss their opportunity.
=============
Steven R. Lo Vullo
Madison, WI




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